Brewer’s Choice 2013

“I want you to raise your glasses to New York State beer,” said Scott Vaccaro (pictured below), owner of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, and keynote speaker at last week’s Brewer’s Choice, one of the featured events of Beer Week.

“All of a sudden New York is becoming this brewing scene,” he noted, explaining that in 2004, there were 34 brewers in the state. Now there are 110.

“When you go out to eat, when you go out to drink, you have to think about where you’re spending your dollars, think about who you want to support, think about where you want those dollars to go,” Vaccaro urged.  “We brew beer for you. We brew beer for the people in this room and we put our blood, sweat and tears into every drop we make.”

In 2004, three percent of beer bought in New York State was made in New York, Vaccaro continued. Now that number has gone up to eight percent. “I want to stand back here in a few years and I want to say that its 30 or 40 percent.”

The event was certainly a celebration of New York State, with most of the eats and drinks from local purveyors and breweries. Here are some of the highlights:

Chris Cuzme, brewer at 508 GastroBrewery served up his Pompale, brewed with pomegranate tea, which had fruity aromas and a distinct, refreshing flavor of pomegranate tea. Smuttynose Brewing Company offered its Bloom Belgian Pale Ale. Brewed with flowers, Bloom is has floral notes on the nose that carry through the palate. Peekskill Brewery, just launched in NYC, poured its new Simple Sour. Tart, refreshing and sweet, Simple Sour has just a hint of bitterness. Bierkraft served its Saison through a hop cannon, filled with Simcoe hops and Buddha’s Hand citrus fruits.

The food (though sparse) was delicious. Oysters, shrimp rolls from Luke’s Lobster, and delicious cheeses from Murray’s and mind-blowing kimchi gnocchi from Blind Tiger. One of the best events during Beer Week!

Dave Brodrick and Jimmy Carbone, event organizers

Jeremy Cowan, owner of Shmaltz and president of the NYC Brewers Guild

508 GastroBrewery brewer Chris Cuzme on sax

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